one green planet
one green planet

For years, Kate Dunbar experienced excruciating joint pain. A devoted mother and passionate teacher, she had been physically active and full of life until a back injury triggered a health crisis. Following a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune condition, she spent an entire summer bedridden, her joints inflamed and body laden with pain. Her ordeal extended beyond just physical suffering. Kate was forced to quit her job, and her quality of life significantly deteriorated.

Doctors initially prescribed her methotrexate, a potent immunosuppressant drug, to manage her condition. For 13 years, Kate endured regular blood tests and the unpleasant side-effects of her medication, yet her symptoms occasionally flared up. Her journey took a turn when she began noticing a link between her condition and the food she consumed. A casual suggestion from a nurse to try an elimination diet led Kate to explore the correlation between her arthritis and her diet.

Simultaneously, Kate found herself drawn towards a vegan lifestyle, both for her love for animals and interest in sustainability. She embarked on a journey as an ethical vegan, excluding all forms of animal products from her diet but still consuming vegan-friendly processed foods. Over time, she noticed a reduction in her arthritis symptoms, and her medication intake halved.

In 2017, Kate attended a vegan festival where she met a woman who had battled rheumatoid arthritis with a whole-food vegan diet and now ran marathons. Inspired by this encounter, Kate decided to try a whole-food vegan diet herself. It was a challenging transition, but over time, she started enjoying whole plant-based foods and learned to make dishes rich in herbs and spices.

The switch to a whole-food vegan diet began a transformative journey for Kate. As she embraced this new lifestyle, her symptoms subsided, and she gradually reduced her medication. Eventually, she stopped taking it altogether, transitioning from a life marked by chronic pain to one where she could find joy in activities like running. Today, she is a proud participant in 10K races, an ambassador for Running on Plants, and completely free of arthritis medication for five years.

Kate’s story is a testament to the potential of plant-based nutrition in managing chronic diseases. She emphasizes that while it may not be a cure-all, exploring diet as a management tool can be beneficial for many. “Find out all you can about your particular disease and diet,” she advises, reminding us of the immense power of hope in the face of adversity.

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